Last Thursday (October 13th) Conserve School students headed north to Greenland, Michigan and the Adventure Mine. Adventure Mine is a Keweenaw Heritage Site. (The Keweenaw Peninsula of Upper Michigan is north of us.) Copper mining was once an important economic force in this region, and this historic tour helps students appreciate the effort that 19th-century mining required, the effect mining has had on the Northwoods environment, the geology of the region, and the relevance of mining to the region’s history.
Thanks to Science Teacher Robert Eady for arranging the tour and to Spanish Teacher and Academic Dean Kathleen O’Connor for adding additional meaning and interest to the field trip by showing students the documentary The Devil’s Miner, about contemporary mining in Bolivia, a few days before the tour.
Here is what two of the students had to say about the visit
Venturing into the Adventure Mine was a first for me and many of my peers. In Environmental Science were learning about copper and coal mines, and have in-depth discussions on whether you can mine environmentally. Our tour guide told us everything about the mine. For instance the mine was owned by 3 different companies, how copper is made in the rock, and she also made us stand for COMPLETE darkness for 5 minutes, to signify what the miners went through if their candle burned out. Depending on what time you go, you can also see bats like we did and did I mention you rappel down a 80 foot shaft! I would definitely recommend the tour to everyone, young and old. You would defiantly be astonished by the amount of information they tell you. ~Hanaa B.
I learned a lot from my experience at the mine. I learned about the history of the mine and how they made the tunnels the way they did. Also, the tools they used and the ways of lighting. Just one candle! One of the most unique experiences of being in the mine, was when everybody turned off their head lamps and it was complete darkness. The darkness in the mine is something I can’t even describe! It’s really cool, yet scary! This was my first time in a mine and it was crazy to see how large the tunnels can be! I had a lot of fun! I got to take a lot of cool pictures of the bats (I now appreciate bats more, just from seeing them up close and also seeing them in their natural habitat) and rocks too! My favorite part was repelling down the 80 foot mine shaft! So cool! ~Katelyn L.
While the semester school students experienced the wonders of the Adventure Mine tour I had the chance to stroll the grounds which include great hiking and mountain biking trails. They take their mountain biking seriously and even host a bike race that goes through part of the mine in the summer. It is called the Miner’s Revenge Mountain Bike Race. While I like mountain biking, that sounds a bit too extreme for me.
(Thanks to all who contributed pictures including Julia, Hanaa, and Katelyn)